Audley Shaw, Jamaica's Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries vowed Thursday to waste no more time in guaranteeing benefits from the ever-expanding global medical cannabis or medical marijuana industry.
“Time is not on our side,” he stressed while addressing the Agricultural Technology Symposium, which was convened under the theme 'Sustained Growth in the Agriculture Sector with Science and Technology Engineering.'
The event was hosted at the Isratech Jamaica Limited Group of Companies in Jamaica's Manchester Parish and saw the participation of the Jamaica Institute of Engineers.
Shaw confirmed that he is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and the Cannabis Licensing Authority, or CLA, “to move faster and more aggressively to get up to the level of world competition.”
He said the Jamaican government, having only decriminalized the use of a maximum of two ounces of marijuana and issued a handful of licenses for processing and production, needs to step up its efforts to reap the benefits of marijuana growing and the manufacture of cannabis marijuana-based products.
Shaw warned attendees that the market is quickly developing as marijuana has been legalized in Canada and its medicinal and recreational use has been legalized in 31 states in the United States, according to the Jamaica Observer.
Apart from the marijuana industry, Shaw told participants that Jamaica's agricultural sector is vital for the country to achieve sustained, high levels of economic growth.
To ensure growth, he stressed that agriculture programmes targeting youths should be developed, as well as rationalizing idle land and seeking markets in the Caribbean Community, or Caricom.